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This subject provides an introduction to the basic principles, analysis, and design of distributed systems and game theory within an engineering context, encompassing fundamental concepts, analytical tools, and algorithms. It focuses on multi-person decision-making on distributed systems and game-theoretic approaches to resource allocation. Both static, distributed, and convex optimisation and (non)linear dynamical systems are studied. The concepts and methods discussed are illustrated in multiple application areas including Internet of Things (IoT), smart grid and power systems, cyber-security, and communication networks.
The concepts taught in this subject will allow for a better understanding of distributed systems and provide much needed expertise for analysis and design of such systems using game theory.
Topics covered may include:
- A brief overview of convex optimisation and distributed systems;
- Distributed optimisation and network utility maximisation;
- Fundamentals of strategic (non-cooperative) games, Nash equilibrium and its distributed computation;
- Static, dynamic, stochastic, and Bayesian games;
- Coalition formation games;
- Security games;
- Basics of mechanism design, VCG mechanisms;
- The role of information in distributed systems and strategic games;
- Analysis of distributed systems using graph abstractions and games over graphs;
- Applications of distributed algorithms and strategic games to Internet of Things (IoT), smart grid and power systems, cyber-security, and communication networks.
Intended learning outcomes
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs):
On completion of this subject, it is expected that the student will:
1. Utilise mathematical tools and methods quantitatively to analyse and design distributed systems and algorithms
2. Apply fundamental engineering modelling methods to analyse and synthesise strategic games
3. Describe basic concepts related to game theory, distributed systems, and their relationships and reflect critically on their theory and professional practice
4. Apply fundamental techniques from distributed systems and game theory to address problems associated with engineering systems and use numerical analysis tools when appropriate
5. Interpret and communicate on aspects of distributed systems and game theory to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
On completion of this subject, it is expected that the student will have developed the following generic skills:
- Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals;
- In-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline;
- Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution;
- Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance;
- Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
- Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large.
Last updated: 4 September 2021